WELLINGTON, FL - October 9, 2007 - The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation has announced that Darren Chiacchia, Nina Fout, Kim Severson, and Karen Stives from the Olympic sport of eventing will represent the USET Foundation in the 2008 Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA. The four eventing riders will join dressage Olympians Sue Blinks, Debbie McDonald, Guenter Seidel, and Steffen Peters as riders in a 12-member squad representing the USET Foundation. Next to be selected and announced will be the show jumping Olympians, who will complete the squad of equestrian athletes representing the Olympic disciplines in the 119th Rose Parade on January 1, 2008.
The historic Rose Parade, a New Year's Day tradition, features floral floats, more than 300 horses, and marching bands that parade for five-and-half miles while nearly one million spectators line the route to cheer them on. The annual Rose Parade is broadcast to millions of viewers in 75 countries. The New Year's Day parade broadcast is scheduled to precede football's Rose Bowl Game and will start at 8 a.m. (PST)/11 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, January 1, 2008.
"We are so pleased to have these eventing Olympians represent their sport and the USET Foundation to the millions of people around the world who watch this exciting parade," said USET Foundation Executive Director Bonnie Jenkins. "Our eventing riders have helped establish the U.S. as one of the most accomplished equestrian teams in the international competition arena. These riders are exemplary athletes and exceptional ambassadors for all equestrian sport, as well as the USET Foundation and our country. We appreciate their generosity and thank them for their participation in the Rose Parade."
Biographies for Olympic Eventing Riders, 2008 Rose Parade
Darren Chiacchia, 43, of Leesburg, VA, rode Windfall II, a Trakehner stallion owned by Tim Holekamp, at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and helped the U.S. win the Team Bronze Medal. Chiacchia was the traveling alternate at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. At the 2003 Pan American Games, riding as an Individual, Chiacchia won the Individual Gold Medal aboard Windfall II. At the 2007 Pan Ams, Chiacchia again rode as an Individual and placed 4th overall aboard Better I Do It owned by Adrienne Iorio. Chiacchia represented the U.S. at the 2002 World Championships in Jerez, Spain, and at the 1995 European Open championships in Pratoni, Italy. Chiacchia has had consistent success over the years with top finishes at Rolex, Fair Hill International, and the Foxhall Cup. Chiacchia and Windfall II won the 2004 Rolex Three Day Event.
Nina Fout, 48, of Middleburg, VA, and her own 3 Magic Beans, a Thoroughbred gelding, helped the U.S. win the Team Bronze Medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Fout has been a successful competitor since her teen years, winning the Peters Trophy at the 1975 Radnor Three-Day Event when she was just 16 years old, which also earned her the title of Junior National Champion. With 3 Magic Beans, Fout represented the U.S. at the most challenging CCI four-star competitions in the world, including the top three in Great Britain - Burghley three times (2004, 2001, 1999), Badminton twice (2003 and 1999), and the Blenheim Horse Trials in 1997. Fout and 3 Magic Beans also competed at the Rolex Three Day Event in Kentucky three times (2002, 2001, and 2000) with their most notable finish, 8th place, in 2002.
Kim Severson, 34, of Keene, Virginia, aboard Winsome Adante, competed in the 2004 Athens Olympic Game where she earned the Individual Silver Medal and helped the U.S. win the Team Bronze Medal. Severson and Winsome Adante, an English Thoroughbred gelding owned by Linda Wachtmeister and Plain Dealing Farm, have won the eventing world's most challenging competitions during their phenomenal partnership over the past five years. At the 2002 World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Jerez, Spain, Severson and Winsome Adante helped the U.S. win Team Gold. Severson has won the prestigious Rolex Kentucky CCI four times - 1999 with Over the Limit, and 2002, 2004, and 2005 with Winsome Adante. In 2007, Severson and Winsome Adante won The Fork CIC-W-three-star. Severson was named the U.S. Eventing Association's Lady Rider of the Year in 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005.
Karen Stives, 57, of Dover, MA, was the first woman to win an Olympic medal in the sport of eventing - in fact, she won two medals. Riding Ben Arthur, an Irish-bred gray Thoroughbred owned by her mother, Lillian Mahoney, Stives won the Individual Silver Medal and anchored the U.S. squad that won the Team Gold Medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Stives successfully represented the U.S. internationally for many years aboard her own Thoroughbred, The Saint. Stives was named the U.S. Combined Training Association's Rider of the Year three times - 1981, 1987, and 1988. After retiring from international competition, Stives became an international (FEI) eventing judge, and was chairwoman of the U.S. Equestrian Team's Three-Day Event Selectors' Committee for 10 years. Stives was inducted into the U.S. Eventing Association's Hall of Fame in 2006.
The non-profit United States Equestrian Team Foundation supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America's elite and developing international, high-performance athletes and horses in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation. For more information about the USET Foundation or to make a donation, please call (908) 234-1251 or visit the USET Foundation website at http://www.uset.org
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/uset-2008-rose-parade-10-07.html">USET Foundation Announces Eventing Riders for 2008 Rose Parade</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com